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Nutrients 2010, 2(10), 1060-1072; doi:10.3390/nu2101060

Effect of the Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates on Acne vulgaris

1,* , 2
1 Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular Bioscience G08, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia 2 Department of Dermatology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia 3 Department of Statistics, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2010 / Revised: 12 October 2010 / Accepted: 15 October 2010 / Published: 18 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrates)
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Acne vulgaris may be improved by dietary factors that increase insulin sensitivity. We hypothesized that a low-glycemic index diet would improve facial acne severity and insulin sensitivity. Fifty-eight adolescent males (mean age ± standard deviation 16.5 ± 1.0 y and body mass index 23.1 ± 3.5 kg/m2) were alternately allocated to high or low glycemic index diets. Severity of inflammatory lesions on the face, insulin sensitivity (homeostasis modeling assessment of insulin resistance), androgens and insulin-like growth factor-1 and its binding proteins were assessed at baseline and at eight weeks, a period corresponding to the school term. Forty-three subjects (n = 23 low glycemic index and n = 20 high glycemic index) completed the study. Diets differed significantly in glycemic index (mean ± standard error of the mean, low glycemic index 51 ± 1 vs. high glycemic index 61 ± 2, p = 0.0002), but not in macronutrient distribution or fiber content. Facial acne improved on both diets (low glycemic index −26 ± 6%, p = 0.0004 and high glycemic index −16 ± 7%, p = 0.01), but differences between diets did not reach significance. Change in insulin sensitivity was not different between diets (low glycemic index 0.2 ± 0.1 and high glycemic index 0.1 ± 0.1, p = 0.60) and did not correlate with change in acne severity (Pearson correlation r = −0.196, p = 0.244). Longer time frames, greater reductions in glycemic load or/and weight loss may be necessary to detect improvements in acne among adolescent boys.
Keywords: glycemic index; carbohydrate; diet; acne vulgaris; adolescent males glycemic index; carbohydrate; diet; acne vulgaris; adolescent males
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Reynolds, R.C.; Lee, S.; Choi, J.Y.J.; Atkinson, F.S.; Stockmann, K.S.; Petocz, P.; Brand-Miller, J.C. Effect of the Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates on Acne vulgaris. Nutrients 2010, 2, 1060-1072.

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